$45 Hisilicon Hi3535 Based Network Video Recorder Board Comes with HDMI, VGA, Dual SATA, GbE, and USB 3.0 Ports

Network Video Recorder (NVR) boards allow you to record videos from IP cameras to a SATA drive, and display them in a mosaic for monitoring & security. One of such boards is XiongMai NBD7024T-P powered by a Hisilicon Hi3535 dual core Cortex A9 processor, and featuring Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, and USB 3.0 interfaces, on top of HDMI and VGA video output and stereo audio output. With such features, this type of board could likely be re-purposed for other applications, such as a NAS setup too,and they are fairly inexpensive going for $45 including shipping on Aliexpress.

Click to Enlarge

NBD7024T-P NVR board specifications:

  • SoC –  Hisilicon Hi3535 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 4Gbit (512MB) RAM
  • Storage – 2x SATA ports up to 8TB each, maybe some SPI flash for firmware
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI, 1x VGA
  • Audio Output – 2x RCA jacks for stereo audio
  • Video Input (IP) – 8x @ 5M, 16x @ 4M, 32x (24fps), 16x, 8x @ 1080p, 32x @ 960p, 16x @ 720p up to 192 Mbps bandwidth
  • Video & Audio Compression – H.264, G.711A
  • Display & Playback “Quality” – 1280×1080 max display resolution, playback: 5M/4M 1080p/960p/720p
  • Video Preview – 1/4/8/16/24/32
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port + 4ch WiFi ???
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – RTC battery, some expansion headers
  • Power supply – 12V/4A
  • Power Consumption – <10W (without HDD)
  • Dimensions – 164mm x 80mm
  • Weight – ~130g
  • Temperature Range – 0°C-+55°C
  • Humidity – 10%-90% RH

You can use the built-in interface shown above, a Windows based CMS app, XMeye mobile app to manage the video streams, or any ONVIF compliant apps. The board is said to run some kind of embedded Linux distributions. The seller of the board on Taobao, also “sells” the SDK for various Hisilicon processors for 5 RMB. But since the name of the SDK is shown a search for Hi3535_V100R001C01SPC020 led me to that direct link on baidu where it looks like you can download it for free, until you find out the archive is password protected… The SDK is said to be based on Linux 3.14, and you’d have to use this, since I could not see any activity about Hi3535 in LKML.

HiSilicon Hi3535 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The manufacturer of the board is Hangzhou XiongMai Technology, and you can find a product brief here. If you find $45 is too high for your use case, some cheaper 4-channel NVR boards based on HiSilicon Hi3520D ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 660 MHz can be found for about $17 shipped with Fast Ethernet, one SATA 2.0 interface, and HDMI & VGA output.

HiSilicon Hi3535 processor sells for about $8 in quantities, so in case software support is acceptable, and HiSilicon helps with the release of the SDK, it might be possible to make low cost boards for headless applications. It still remains to be seen how SATA, Ethernet, and USB 3.0 interfaces perform on the processor.

Thanks to Jon for the tip.

Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.

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willy
willy
3 years ago

That seems like the cheapest USB3+SATA+GBE board around. We don’t yet know anything about the performance, but others in this price range cannot even provide the connectivity regardless of the performance.

The design is surprizing, not using solid capacitors nor flat coils. For the price we can’t demand too much but seeing this board reminded me the hardware we were using 10 years ago and made me realize that things have changed since 🙂

Mike Schinkel
3 years ago

@willy
Definitely. And that $17 board is cheapest SATA board around. Wonder if Armbian supports it?

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

I’m waiting for the Armbian port!

SDK will probably have source for everything except the h.264/5 support. I have the Hisilicon SDK for their camera chips and that’s what is in it.

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

After we get Armbian! maybe the PI people will make a version with better connectors and expose both GbE ports.

I suspect performance is quite good. Hisilicon (part of Huawei) is a better silicon vendor than Allwinner. You don’t put dual GbE, dual SATA, PCIe and USB 3.0 onto a light weight bus.

Hisilicon makes the Kirin SOCs.

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

This chip also has the hardware needed to transcode broadcast TV in real-time from MPEG2 to h.264 so that you can stream it.

Hoangdinh86
Hoangdinh86
3 years ago

I have NVR with same hardware Hi3535 gigabit ethernet and usb3.0. Hope we have Armbian port soon

Hoangdinh86
Hoangdinh86
3 years ago

I dont know how to test I/O with my board because the firmware is only about NVR

ovi
ovi
3 years ago

@john Smirl

you sure can support hardware transcode from mpeg2 to h264?

hoangdinh86
hoangdinh86
3 years ago


Tonight I will check my board and try to connect via telnet, ssh

FransM
FransM
3 years ago

at the time I write this they have an offer for that 4 ch hisilicon nvr board for $13.60; lasts still one hour. support for linux seems mostly absent so i decided to skip. (shipping to NL would have been $ 3.65)

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

No schematics available, no documentation, no sources, obviously zero support by the vendor. Looks like a SinoVoip product. No thanks. 😉

mdel
mdel
3 years ago

looking at that block diagram i tried to look up some AMBA Bus specifications and found that nice document comparing AMBA 2 vs AMBA 3 with use cases (there’s also newer AMBA4 bus for cortex A7/A15) :

http://rtcgroup.com/arm/2007/presentations/179%20-%20Comparative%20Analysis%20of%20AMBA%202.0%20and%20AMBA%203%20AXI%20Protocol-Based%20Subsystems.pdf

It’s not quite clear how the master/slave bandwidth is shared and it would depend how it was implemented in the soc, but the data rates are quite high (400MHz 32Bits = 12.8Gbps / bus)

The Dex
3 years ago

I think the “best bet” would be to try and find a serial port (header) – used for debugging, usually – and start from there.

Also, be careful: some of these devices (actually, the software on them) where some of the ones responsible for the MIRAI botnet / DDoS attack last year.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

The Dex : I think the “best bet” would be to try and find a serial port (header) – used for debugging, usually – and start from there. Why? Still no schematics available, no documentation, no sources, obviously zero support by the vendor. There’s somewhere on the Internet a 700 MB password protected Hi3535_V100R001C01SPC020.rar said to be a ‘Linux SDK’ for this thing. How many GPL violations are contained? How much stuff you would have to remove until you’re able to publish any work based on this ‘SDK’ (since if you publish something you become the GPL violator)? From which… Read more »

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

There is a pinout for all of the connectors in the Taobao listing. UART is on CN1 pins 7/8. Hilsilion is a division of Huawei, they are far more competent than Allwinner. This is the same group that makes the Kirin SOCs. You can get real support for this but to get it you have to pay for the SDK. Last I asked they wanted about $10,000. But for that $10K they will help with design and software issues. The legal situation is identical to Allwinner. The taobao version also appears to include the SDK. I have the Hisilicon SDK… Read more »

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

I would not write off mainline support so quickly. This exact chip is not in mainline but the Hi3660 is in mainline with official vendor support. More than we can say for Allwinner. Hisilicon is a top tier Linaro member too. If we start a push for this chip Hisilicon might surprise us and actually help.

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

I found the Hi3536 SDK, there are only minor differences with the HI3535. Like adding h.265 support and 4K output.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/hisi/files/SDK/Hi3536/

I am on a slow link, another hour until I have it downloaded and can check if there is password.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

@Jon Smirl
Now that’s a different story than ‘Bring Armbian to a video recorder’ (which will most probably not work at all given there’s no SD card slot and the onboard flash way too small to fit a bloated full Debian or Ubuntu).

Currently reading through ‘Hi3536 V100R001C01SPC020 Performance Test Report.pdf’ from your Sourceforge link…

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

Here’s what I think is going on, the Hi3536 has h.265 support. That cuts the needed disk space in half. So demand has shifted from the Hi3536 from the Hi3535.

Current prices: Hi3536 SOC — $35, Hi3535 SOC — $8
hi3535 PCB $90, Hi3535 PCB $40.

So Hi3535 is really a $35 CPU but the new version destroyed demand for it and prices fell — a lot.

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

@tkaiser

Flash may just boot the OS off from the disk. Something like USB boot would be used to initially get it onto the disk. Similar to how a PC works.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

@Jon Smirl So Hi3535 will most probably phased out soon and Hi3536 is still quite expensive. I looked a little bit through the docs. Very good first impression both wrt hardware features (TCP/IP Offloading engine or even a XOR/RAID accelerator) and how the stuff is written (eg. explanations how to benchmark stuff and in the FAQ there’s even ‘average load on Linux’ explained… correctly!). It seems the SoCs are only supposed to work with raw NAND flash and I feel I should concentrate better on two other chip vendors after giving up on Allwinner completely after their most recent ‘tinalinux’… Read more »

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

I suspect there are 100,000 or more hi3535 sitting in Shenzhen chip vendors. These are high volume products made by the millions. I don’t think supply will run out any time soon. Marvell is extremely unfriendly to smaller vendors. Marvell’s corporate philosophy is to be your second vendor. So after you prove the market on the first round with another vendor, Marvell then comes in and pitches you to go with them for the second round with high volumes. They actively do not want smaller players and they don’t want third party dev boards around. Rockchip is a smaller version… Read more »

xxiao
xxiao
3 years ago

these were sold a _lot_ for surveillance market thus it’s cheap, I have it here sitting idle for almost a year, the SDK is illegal and you will not get any support

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

@Jon Smirl Well, maybe it’s just the usual ‘use case’ question. My ARM journey started few years ago searching for small, inexpensive but energy efficient ‘servers’ back then naively fascinated by ‘thing with SATA and GbE’. Got that (original Banana Pi with Allwinner A20), tested and was disappointed just to learn later that better looking specs of another ‘thing with SATA and GbE’ (Banana Pi M3 with Allwinner A83T) could make it even worse (the ‘SATA’ there scores at 15/30 MB/s write/read). Few years later I’m now where I wanted to be back in 2013. With Rockchip’s RK3328 I get… Read more »

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

@tkaiser If you are getting into IP cameras that field is dominated by the Hisilicon Hi3516 (1080p) and Hi3518 (720p). They are probably larger than everyone else combined. Output from those cameras ends up in a NVR (network video record) based on boards like these. SDK for those two chips looks identical to the one you have with adjustments for the different silicon. I think someone removed some of the PDFs that are normally in the SDK from that H3536 SDK copy. Normally there are like 50 PDFs in a Hisilicon SDK. The trouble with Marvell is that you can… Read more »

martonmiklos
3 years ago

@Jon Smirl
Hi Jon,
May I ask you what version of SDK do you have?
If I bet well it is for the Hi3518 series right?

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-xXk60rAAO9amgtUmhSc0h2Ykk/view
Hi3518E V200R001C05SPC050

I would love it if someone could get it to transmit in WebRTC format instead of RTP.

This is Linux webrtc source, needs to be ported for sensor input and h.264 engine.
https://webrtc.org/native-code/development/

theguyuk
theguyuk
3 years ago

If you look on Aliexpress there are Hisilicon NVR with 8+ sata at around £75- £80. I noticed on ipcamtalk, a few people have bricked a couple of boards trying own firmware. But updating existing firmware seems to work. As someone already mentioned these boards are rebranded all over Aliexpress and Internet.

mm
mm
3 years ago

@Jon Smirl
Thanks Jon! Which tool do you use for building the rootfs? I have recently came across this buildroot:
https://github.com/hi35xx/hi35xx-buildroot
But I have not had a time to play with it yet.

xxiao
xxiao
3 years ago

@Jon Smirl
without looking into the spec I remember it is just SATA2 I think, enough for NVR but not enough for other uses.

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

@xxiao
Hi3535 is 6Gb/s SATA 3.0

mm – I am not working with the Hi3518, another group is working on it. I did replace the buildroot in the Grain SDK with current build root a while ago. It was not hard to do. Get WebRTC running on it and I know someone who is trying to buy the code needed to to do that.

Prachi
2 years ago

Hi,
I want to buy a Hi3518 development board. Where can I buy it from?

mrcoolgli
mrcoolgli
2 years ago

This is the chipset inside of my zmodo. The performance is decent. I would easily spend 45 bucks to free myself from zmodo.

aasi
aasi
11 months ago

hi there
i’ve Hi3535 7000T NVR but it don’t detect more than one camera
if i plug mouse and usb in usb port, the NVR hangs.
anyone have solution ???

if someone have it’s firmware update kindly post the link

Best Regards

thai
thai
1 month ago

hi I want to buy the refill code for hi3520d for me to have the price, and contact gmail: [email protected]

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